Auto Club: Average Monthly Gas Hits Record High For February

(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17, 2004) ? The average price of regular gasoline in Southern California surged nearly 20 cents in a month to an all-time February high with more increases likely on the way, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's monthly Fuel Gauge Report. An expanding economy combined with lower inventories and reduced production from California refineries in the middle of the routine changeover from winter to summer grade gasoline have propelled gasoline prices higher at a faster pace than in prior years.

The Southern California average price for regular self-serve unleaded gasoline is $1.939, up from $1.737on Jan. 13, 2004. The previous highest February Fuel Gauge Report price was in 2003 at $1.730.

The lowest average price in Southern California is Porterville, where drivers can pump regular self-serve unleaded gasoline for an average $1.836, and the highest price is in Redlands, where regular goes for an average $2.079. San Francisco Bay-area motorists now pay an average of $1.90, up from $1.71 in January. Nationally, prices are up eight cents since the January AAA survey and now average $1.64 per gallon.

"A springtime gasoline price spike is becoming an annual institution in California," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Production drops as many refineries need to change over from winter to summer formulation gasoline. When inventories are already at low levels, this changeover can cause prices to jump up. In addition, OPEC recently announced a production cut, so some experts are saying that the price increases may last longer this year."

In Southern California, the averages for regular and premium grades of gasoline are listed below:

County/City1/13 Unl2/17 Unl1/13 Pre2/17 Pre
Imperial County    
El Centro1.7901.9322.0062.049
Inyo County    
Bishop1.8061.9262.0092.094
Kern County    
Bakersfield1.6781.8621.8122.029
Ridgecrest1.7021.8991.8222.067
Los Angeles County    
Alhambra1.7751.9391.7991.999
Arcadia1.7101.9151.9991.975
Burbank1.6801.8751.9792.112
Culver City1.7811.9772.0992.089
Glendale1.6991.8871.8392.224
Glendora1.6391.8841.8592.079
Inglewood1.7511.9381.9112.094
Lancaster1.6931.9241.9392.119
Long Beach1.7031.9181.8762.067
Los Angeles1.7221.9261.9422.126
Manhattan Beach1.8412.0041.9612.207
Montebello1.7071.9411.9292.144
Santa Clarita1.7191.9591.9642.119
Santa Monica1.7861.9592.0592.289
Van Nuys1.6811.8981.8422.034
Whittier1.6901.9101.8662.199
Woodland Hills1.7211.9441.9092.139
Orange County    
Anaheim1.6291.8561.8472.109
Fullerton1.6791.8701.8092.059
Huntington Beach1.6681.8981.8592.066
La Habra1.6191.8651.7392.059
Laguna Beach1.6942.0191.8142.179
Newport Beach1.7711.9751.9922.219
San Clemente1.7961.9941.9922.109
Tustin1.7261.9301.9352.084
Riverside County    
Blythe1.9452.0202.0592.199
Hemet1.6661.9051.8962.082
Palm Springs1.8532.0232.0042.209
Riverside1.6921.9131.8512.096
San Bernardino County   
Redlands1.8592.0791.7832.279
San Bernardino1.7471.9661.8852.113
Victorville1.6701.8981.8592.045
San Diego County    
Chula Vista1.7761.9692.0192.226
Del Mar1.7621.9991.8792.099
Escondido1.6691.9171.8872.102
Oceanside1.7771.9752.0192.179
San Diego1.7431.9591.9512.171
San Luis Obispo County   
San Luis Obispo1.7971.9781.9172.229
Santa Barbara County   
Lompoc1.8061.9791.9262.145
Santa Barbara1.8422.0431.9622.209
Santa Maria1.7791.9861.8992.099
Tulare County    
Porterville1.7191.8361.8421.972
Visalia1.6871.8631.8501.999
Ventura County    
Ventura1.7281.9651.9222.146
So Calif. Avg.1.7371.9391.9132.120

The Auto Club?s Fuel Gauge Report is based on data gathered from monitoring fuel transactions at 2,800 Southern California gas stations. Oil Price Information Service — the nation?s most comprehensive source of petroleum pricing information, provides the data.

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